On this bike tour adventure across Sicily, we’ll learn about this colorful region’s epic history and culture.
We’ll start in Palermo, where we can sense its historical importance in every downtown building and market.
We’ll cross the Greek and Arabic heritage, cycling through Segesta, Trapani, and Marsala, reaching the Greek towns of Selinunte and Agrigento. Riding inland, we’ll discover the baroque architecture to finally reach Siracusa, home of Archimedes, the Greek philosopher.
Gran Finale on the epic uphill of Etna Volcando and the glamour Taormina. A compendium of this multifaceted island from the saddle of your bike.
Bike across Sicily Self-Guided
From Palermo to Taormina
A Self-Guided Bike Tour is a type of cycling adventure where you have the freedom to plan and navigate at your pace. Our dedicated tour guide and support team will handle hotel bookings, logistics, and baggage transport, ensuring you enjoy a hassle-free and carefree experience.
36 – 110 km / day
Earliest recorded human activity on the Island dates to 12,000 BC. Since then, Sicily has been ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Turks, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Austrians and finally Italians. Each civilization left its mark, as we can still see today in the architectural facades and in the people features, and we’ll see it in the streets of Palermo, considered the real capital of the whole Mediterranean. After the shuttle from airport, we’ll have time to check out our bikes and try them on a warm up ride, then we’ll have an aperitif with an extensive briefing about the Sicily bike tour, followed by our first sumptuous Sicilian dinner.
Our day starts with a peaceful ride among the ancient salt works shaping this coastline, with scenic windmills emerging from the lagoons. Soon, our bike tour brings us to the grapes of luscious vineyards, the landmark of Marsala with its famous wine and historical cellars. We can visit a local winery, and of course, we’ll taste its most important product, the precious (and delightful) Marsala wine. At the exotic fisherman village of Mazara del Vallo, we’ll make time to visit its Kasbah district, a piece of the Arabic world nestled in a Sicilian town, and possibly its small museum hosting the statue of the “Dancing Satire”, a delightful art masterpiece coming directly from Magna Grecia. Our day ends at the coast in Selinunte, where we’ll visit the majestic Selinunte Temples site.
Again along the coast, leaving Sciacca and its scenic sea views, conquering the whole glory of this part of Magna Grecia in the Temples Valley of Agrigento. Today we’ll have also a taste of a very rural Sicily, while riding on the hills covered by the wonderful orange groves of Ribera, producing the famous tasty oranges. Back on the coast, we’ll ride by one of the most known landmarks of Sicily, the popular “Scala dei Turchi” (Staircase of the Turks), a rock formation resembling an enormous staircase. Agrigento offers some very good accommodations, some at the town centre perched over the valley, and the most exclusive ones immersed in one of the most spectacular settings in the world, the magnificent “Valle dei Templi”.
That’s the hardest stage of the bike tour across Sicily, climbing through the dry hills of inner Sicily up to the old village of Piazza Armerina, hosting the amazing Villa Romana del Casale.
We’ll experience a very rural Sicily, made out of solitary roads and sun-dried landscapes. Prepare yourself for long yet steady climbs, spaced out by sporadic silent villages, pale yellow clay round hills covered with resilient olive oil groves, and emerald green vineyards. Mazzarino stands out with its Cannon-shaped Castle dominating the valley, a neat Baroque center, and some top-class pastry shops, a perfect spot for lunch. The last part of the stage goes across the old sulfur mines, well described by Verga, the writer who started the “Verismo” literary movement, vividly describing the hard life of its people. This austere landscape almost strikes with the absolute beauty of the enchanting mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, one of the best-preserved buildings built by the Romans about 2000 years ago. Piazza Armerina is very scenic too, with its baroque buildings and its cupola emerging from the old houses.
As we leave the lush gardens and orchards of Piazza Armerina, our bike tour will be again into the typical landscapes of inner Sicily, made out of bare hills drawn by fields and dry stone walls. Caltagirone is world-known for its refined pottery craftsmanship, sublimated in the beautiful staircase of Santa Maria del Monte. Here, you could visit one of its many workshops, creating colorful crafts according to ancient tradition. Then we’ll cross olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see, along a rolling route taking us at the footsteps of the Ibleo limestone plateau. We’ll ascend through the characteristic white limestone walls, with breathtaking landscapes in the surrounding valley. The stage ends at one of the most magical places in Sicily: Ragusa Ibla, a marvelous city known worldwide. This place will surprise you with its old town center and the quality of its cuisine, awarded with three Michelin-starred restaurants.
Included: Breakfast Dinner
Today, our bike tour across Sicily starts with a new ascent of the Iblei mountains, immersed in one of the most beautiful Sicilian countryside. It looks like riding along a terrace overlooking the valley.
In Modica, we’ll discover the ancient chocolate making tradition. We’ll visit the Bonajuto laboratory, one of the oldest chocolate makers in Italy, still using the ancient Aztec technique for their high-quality products. This place makes you feel like you are inside a tale, with so many chocolates of all shapes and colors. Scicli is an authentic Baroque gem still preserved and alive, described as one of the most fertile places of the Med by the famous Arabic explorer Muhammad al Idrisi back in the 12th century A.C. Then, our bike tour in Sicily takes us close to the Cava d’Ispica, a complex of grottos used as a cemetery since prehistory. Then, a long and gradual descent takes us to the perfumed citrus orchards of Noto Valley, preparing us for the last ascent of the day to the flamboyant baroque of Noto. Its Cathedral is one of the best symbols of baroque architecture in the world.
Today, we’ll conquer the sea bastions on the island of Ortigia, the ancient Greek settlement originating the most powerful Greek colony in the Mediterranean. Ortigia, in just a square kilometer, boasts several impressive buildings and monuments. Here stands out the wonderful Cathedral of Syracuse (Cathedral of the Nativity of Mary Most Holy). It was a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, then converted into a church by the Normans. Its Doric columns along the walls closing the side aisles are still very evident both inside and outside. An aperitif on the ancient walls, in front of the sunset over the sea, and a dinner in one of the several good restaurants in town will close the bike tour through southwestern Sicily.
A 1 hr shuttle will take us to the slopes of Mount Etna, the highest active Volcano in Europe. Starting from the village of Nicolosi, we’ll climb in this lava-brown rock landscape until the first caldera at Rifugio Sapienza. Our way down gives us stunning views over the strait of Messina and the Calabria on Italy’s mainland.
Our goal is for the village of Zafferana Etnea, one of the best-preserved villages in the area, miraculously survived to so many eruptions during the centuries.
Overnight: Zafferana Etnea
Our final ride starts crossing the luscious vineyards of Milo and Linguaglossa local grapes, growing in the fertile volcanic landscape. Those wines are now considered some of the best expressions of southern Italian wines. We’ll ride across Castiglione di Sicilia, truly medieval and not “Touristy”, beautifully perched on a hilltop surrounded by thousands of hectares of vineyards. The last breathtaking downhill is along the Alcantara Canyons. Then we’ll touch the Med at the Greek-origin village of Giardini Naxos, finally conquering the stunning Taormina. Again, we’ve carefully selected all the properties used in this tour. More romantic than that, it’s simply impossible!
Included: Breakfast Dinner
Sadly today we leave, but we are sure that we will meet again on the roads of the Mediterranean!
You can bring your own bike or rent one from us, we offer great bikes from selected Italian and international brands: road bikes, leisure cycling, mountain bikes, e-bikes, all in perfect working conditions. You can book your rental bike at the end of the reservation process.